As well as satisfying the eligibility criteria contained in the Model Participation Rules (MPR) to become a PEXA Subscriber at the point of activation, Subscribers must continue to satisfy the criteria during the lifetime of their membership with PEXA.
Subscribers must be of good character and reputation
Where a Subscriber (or their principal, director, partner, officer or Subscriber Administrator) is, for example, one of the following, they are deemed to be of good character and reputation, so nothing beyond maintaining your qualification or status is required –
Authorised Deposit-taking Institution (ADI)
Australian Legal Practitioner or Law Practice
PEXA undertakes regular checks that practitioner members – lawyers and conveyancers – continue to be appropriately qualified. For lawyers, this means that the ‘principal’ or ‘full unrestricted’ practising certificate provided at registration remains in effect. If the lawyer who supplied their practising certificate at the point of registration has moved on from your firm, it’s important that PEXA is provided with a copy of another lawyer’s practising certificate. We do the same regular checks of conveyancing licences for conveyancers. Additionally, if a conveyancing business is owned by a company, we also confirm that the company continues to hold a licence.
There is an additional element to the good character and reputation requirement: Subscribers must take reasonable steps to ensure that its principals, directors, partners, officers and Subscriber Administrators (please find an explanation of user types here) have not been subject to any of the following:
an Insolvency Event within the past five years; or
a conviction for fraud or an indictable offence or any offence for dishonesty against any law in connection with business, professional or commercial activities; or
disqualification from managing a body corporate under the Corporations Act; or
any disciplinary action of any government or governmental authority or agency, or any regulatory authority of a financial market or a profession, which may impact on that Person’s conduct of a Conveyancing Transaction; or
any refusal of an application to subscribe to an electronic lodgement service.
It may be prudent, when recruiting staff, to engage an organisation that can conduct background checks of candidates prior to extending them an employment offer, to minimise the possibility of employing someone who has been subject to any of the above. Subscribers should also consider how they may satisfy themselves on an ongoing basis that their staff do not fall into any of the above categories at a later date.
Subscribers must also comply with the Insurance Rules contained in Schedule 6 of the MPR. In summary, Subscribers must hold and maintain the following –
Professional indemnity insurance for an insured amount of at least $1.5M per claim, having an annual aggregate amount of at least $20M, and an excess no greater than $20,000 per claim.
Fidelity insurance for an insured amount of at least $1.5M per claim, having an annual aggregate amount of at least $20M, and an excess of no greater than $20,000 per claim.
So long as certain criteria are met, lawyers and conveyancers are deemed to comply with the Insurance Rules (see section 4, Schedule 6 of the MPR).
ADIs, the Crown, Local Government Organisations and Statutory Bodies are also deemed to comply with these Insurance Rules (see section 3, Schedule 6 of the MPR).